Nothing says lovin’ like something from the…top of the stove. I hope you’re skipping the long wait and perhaps not-so-great-service at the restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Go to your favorite spot some other time and give your best servers a break… Instead, stay home and fix this luscious meal for you and your happiest partner, you and a friend, or just for yourself.
When you’re looking for food to fit specific diets or food preferences and you’re not used to cooking or baking those profiles, it’s best or easiest, anyway, to pick dishes that are naturally gluten free, for instance, or come perfectly vegan all by themselves, for another. Silky Chocolate Pots de Crème is a simple, happy dessert for a gluten free eater. No flour to replace there. Sumptuous summer strawberries and raspberries glistening with finely minced mint fills the bill for vegans, I’m thinking, because who doesn’t like strawberries and raspberries?
Some nights it doesn’t have to be anything fancy-schmancy. We’re not talking a New Year’s Eve buffet or grandma’s Easter brunch. Just a warm, filling dinner that didn’t take forever to make or clean out the bank account. Something all in one pot; something all in one warm bowl. Maybe a little cheese or crackers on the side. A container left for lunch the next day or to take to a neighbor–my favorite solutions for leftovers.
Whether or not I’ll stick to it, I don’t know. My goal is to use the Instant Pot (IP) for more than testing recipes for other people’s upcoming cookbooks. It’s not that I’m not a gadget person; I am–sort of. It’s not that I’m out of room…well, I almost am. If another pot this size arrives in my house, it’ll need to be stored in the trunk of my car. In other words, to buy anything new and large will require a trip to Goodwill carrying a piece of equipment of equal size.
No IP? Stovetop directions included below recipe.
By this time of the year, pot roast (boneless beef chuck roast, in this case) has lost the patina or excitement it so raptly held last fall. It’s been cold awhile and we’ve been eating “comfort food” for months. While the price hasn’t dropped much over all, there was a twofer sale at our local grocery and of course I still stocked up. The list for meat in the big garage freezer boasts way too many possibilities, but 4 pot roasts was still scratched onto its bottom. What to do with the first one for a special weekend meal? (Stay tuned about what fate awaits the rest of them.)
Need a little basic Instant Pot (IP) info? Scroll down to bottom of post.
I not long ago had a chat with a fellow food writer. No need to mention names and you’ll see why. The subject of Instant Pots came up. This person pointed out the box that had been sitting for weeks, maybe months, in his/her closet. And, yes, you know what was in that box: an Instant Pot. (IP). A slow shake of the head, a flutter of the eyelashes, and a tiny slide of the mouth to one side indicated distaste with even touching that parcel, much less figuring out how to cook with it. “Someday,” s/he shrugged.
What is an Instant Pot anyway? (People ask this regularly in the winter of 2018.)
Between Wednesday and Friday of last week, I’d cooked three separate and distinct meals (one of which was the Coconut Pork Salad below)… and so had various and sundry little containers of meat and vegetables I knew I’d make into a hefty salad come Saturday night when we had planned to splurge a little on an amazon prime movie to belatedly catch “Victoria and Abdul.” (Don’t miss it if you haven’t seen it!) When I visually weighed those leftovers, an accompanying bowl of soup was an obvious necessity.
While I love to bake, it was once much more of a passion than it is today. I think baking provided a sense of accomplishment — a finished product, if you will — that cooking didn’t seem to. (But does now.) Do you consider yourself a baker or a cook? Or both?
If you spent too much time watching the Alabama-Georgia game last night, and neglected to take anything out of the freezer, you, like me, might be wondering what’s for supper Tuesday night. Slow cooker to the rescue and read on…